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It’s do or die time. Your product may be about to be put out to pasture as a has-been. After years of brand mismanagement and resting on your laurels you realize your brand is on it’s last legs.

Let’s hire a hot-shop to fix it. But, well, we don’t want to really pay them, or spend the money it’s going to take. Let’s ask them to do something really wacky. Let’s hope they can hit it out of the park with just one at bat. Let’s ask them to do for Old Spice what Wieden + Kennedy did for “Old Spice” with “The man you wish your man could smell like.” Yeah- that.

For every one of these wild success stories, there are hundreds of fails. Sometimes even the fails work, but not the way you intended them to. Do you remember when Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates went to the mall to go shopping? Probably not, and even if you did, the question is why?

Sometimes it’s just an attempt to break with the past. Or get a lot of earned media by the incredulity of the idea. But this only gets you so far. If you’re going to hire an agency of last resort to save your bacon, make sure you really have the resources and the financial where withal to be able to properly fund and let the idea have enough time to run its course.

The days of getting spec pitches for your loser brand are long gone. No hot shop worth its salt is going to beat down your door. If you’re looking for the next big thing, it’s probably not within your reach to hire the right now big thing. This is where you have to choose your Agency of Last Resort carefully. Find one that aspires to grow as big as you used to be- and make it your job to help them achieve that as you both succeed. Just remember, if you’ve heard of them, they may not be your best choice.

This is where agency search consultants might be able to help you find the shop with just the right number of recent refugees from the big agency merry-go-round that are looking to launch the next big thing on their own, instead of for their old masters.

Boom! You’re on your way.